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The biggest-selling spirits in the world

The alcohol sector was hit with fresh challenges in 2022, but it didn’t stop the major players from making impressive volume gains. Here, we reveal the world’s biggest-selling spirits.

best-selling spirits
Can you guess which spirit took the top spot?

For the majority of markets around the world, 2022 was arguably the first post‐pandemic year that saw business go back to ‘normal’. Travel has returned with renewed enthusiasm, the global on‐trade has been focused on recovery after multiple lockdowns, and pandemic‐born trends – such as online shopping and at‐home cocktails – have become more mainstream in this new era of drinking.

However, the industry is acutely aware of the consequential challenges that have also continued to test the spirits trade. Rising inflation, supply chain disruptions, staff shortages, and the ongoing Russia‐Ukraine war, have been just a number of tribulations thrown at the trade.

According to data from Euromonitor International, total spirits volume grew by 1.2% in 2022 compared with 2021.

While the majority of the 10 biggest-selling spirits in the world remained the same, there were a couple of newcomers to the list.

A number of the million-case brands managed to report double-digit gains in 2022, while only two players saw their sales take a slight dip.

Based on the data in our 2023 Brand Champions report, we’ve analysed the performances of the top-selling spirits and RTD products globally.

Read on to discover the top 10 best-selling spirits brands, listed in order of their nine-litre case sales.

10. Imperial Blue

2022: 24.0m

2021: 24.1m

% change: -0.6%

Place last year: 5

Pernod Ricard-owned Imperial Blue saw its sales drop by 0.6% in 2022, following a strong performance in 2021 when it grew by double digits.

In addition to falling by five places on our best-selling list, Imperial Blue is now back to its position as the fourth-biggest Indian whisky in the world, after Officer’s Choice took back the third spot.

9. Bacardí

Bacardi rum

2022: 24.3m

2021: 22.0m

% change: 10.4%

Place last year: 10

Bacardí took the 2023 Rum Brand Champion title for the second year in a row after growing by double digits in 2022.

The rum producer has been focused on a number of innovations in the category lately, venturing into the premium sector with Reserva Ocho Rye Cask and its first premium spiced aged expression, Caribbean Spiced.

8. Officer’s Choice


2022: 24.9m

2021: 23.2m

% change: 7.3%

Place last year: 7

Allied Blenders & Distillers‐owned Officer’s Choice reported a 7.4% increase to 24.9m cases in 2022, but it failed to reach its pre-pandemic volume of 30.6m cases.

The increase saw it take back its position as the third biggest-selling Indian whisky in the world. Officer’s Choice was once the world’s biggest Indian whisky at 34m cases in 2018.

7. Chum Churum

2022: 26.0m

2021: 19.0m

% change: 36.7%

Place last year: N/A

Korean soju Chum Churum soared by more than a third last year to reach 26m cases, but it remains slightly below its sales high of 28.6m in 2018.

The impressive growth saw the soju brand re-enter the top 10 best-selling spirits list after three years of consecutive declines.

6. Royal Stag

2022: 27.1m

2021: 22.4m

% change: 21.2%

Place last year: 9

This year’s Indian Whisky Brand Champion, Royal Stag, witnessed a 21.2% increase last year. The growth saw the brand move three places up the ranks of the biggest-selling spirits.

The Pernod Ricard-owned brand is gaining ground on category giant McDowell’s, and has overtaken Officer’s Choice to become the second‐biggest‐selling Indian whisky.

Kartik Mohindra, chief marketing officer for Pernod Ricard India, attributed Royal Stag’s growth to its new packaging, which was given a “youthful, modern and premium” update

5. Tanduay

2022: 27.4m

2021: 23.6m

% change: 16.1%

Place last year: 7

Philippine brand Tanduay reported a double-digit increase in 2022, soaring by 16.1% to 27.4m cases. The increase marked a return to growth for the brand after a minor dip in 2021. It remains the world’s biggest-selling rum brand.

Tanduay owns and operates the biggest distillery in the Philippines, with more than 120,000 barrels totalling a capacity of 24m gauge litres.

4. Smirnoff

Smirnoff Diageo

2022: 28.1m

2021: 26.5m

% change: 6.0%

Place last year: N/A

The world’s biggest-selling vodka brand, Smirnoff, made a 6% gain in 2022 to 28.1m cases. The brand also re-entered the biggest-selling spirits list in 2022.

It was selected as this year’s Vodka Brand Champion after it maintained growth to deliver its best year to date – and it continues to be the category leader by volume.

Stephanie Jacoby, global senior vice‐president for Smirnoff, pointed to the boom in cocktails, particularly as many serves call for vodka as their base. Smirnoff has sought to “build on the meteoric rise of the Espresso Martini” through a global partnership with the world’s largest coffee festival organiser, Allegra Group.

3. McDowell’s No.1 Whisky

2022: 30.8m

2021: 30.1m

% change: 2.3%

Place last year: 3

United Spirits-owned McDowell’s managed to hold on to its position as the world’s biggest-selling Indian whisky with 30.8m cases, but Royal Stag is hot on its tail at 27.1m.

The brand managed to slightly beat its sales high of 30.7m in 2019 and has seen sales fluctuate over the past five years.

Diageo’s Indian arm, United Spirits, sold 32 of its brands to Inbrew Beverages last year, excluding McDowell’s. The move could see the company place a greater focus on McDowell’s in the year ahead.

2. White Claw

White Claw

2022: 59.0m

2021: 61.6m

% change: -4.2%

Place last year: 2

A former Supreme Brand Champion, hard seltzer giant White Claw reported its first decline in five years with sales slipping to 59m cases.

Launched in 2016, Mark Anthony Brands’ White Claw saw substantial volume growth each year through to 2021. Perhaps the brand’s decrease is a sign that consumers have grown tired of the hard seltzer phenomenon, which is predominant in the US.

Despite the drop, White Claw’s sales are still more than double those of the second‐biggest‐selling RTD brand, Suntory Spirits’ ‐196°C Strong Zero.

1. Jinro

2022: 100.9m

2021: 94.5m

% change: 6.8%

Place last year: 1

This year’s Supreme Brand Champion, Korean soju Jinro, surpassed 100m nine-litre cases for the first time.

In 2022, the brand made moves overseas, including its sponsorship of the All Points East festival in London. A focus on expanding outside of its home market could help the brand to continue its growth next year.

Outside of its core market, Korea, the company is also focused on driving sales in neighbouring Asian countries such as Japan, China and Southeast Asia.

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